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We care for more than 8,000 animals annually and couldn't do it without our incredible volunteers!

Humane Education

Calling All Kids!

Fun Times with the Dogs and Cats.

HSSW Education Programs are all about kids + dogs + cats! Led by our education team, these programs offer an opportunity for kids to learn all about what it takes to operate the largest open-admission shelter in Southwest Washington. 

We offer school year programs for kids grades 3-8 and summer camp opportunities for kids grades 3-6. Learn more below. Scholarship opportunities are available for low-income families. 

Questions? Please contact us and we'll be in touch.

School Year Education Programs

School year programs offer exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the Humane Society for Southwest Washington. Once-monthly sessions include fun and educational lessons, games, activities, crafts, and (of course) some hands-on time with our shelter animals! 

  • Kids Club | Grades 3-6

    Kids Club members learn about a variety of different animals, the importance of responsible pet ownership, and discover what it takes to care for more than 8,000 animals annually. Check out our FAQ for more information.

    Registration closed for 2019/2020 school year. Check back in summer, 2020.

    Program Information 

    Grade 3/4 
    Time: 6:00-8:00 pm
    Dates: 10/2, 11/6, 12/4, 1/8, 2/5, 3/4, 4/8, 5/6

    Grade 5/6 
    Time: 6:00-8:00 pm
    Dates: 10/9, 11/13, 12/11, 1/15, 2/12, 3/11, 4/15, 5/13


    Q. What is an average session like? 
    A. Great question! Each Kids Club session begins with time saying hello to the dogs and cats. Then we head back to the classroom for education and a craft project.

    Q. Do the kids get to spend time with animals? 
    A. Of course! Every day starts with a "hello" to our shelter animals and many of our lessons involve interactions with animals as well. When possible, we also have a dog or cat (or special guest animals) join us in the classroom.  

    Q. What should my child bring? 
    A. Just themselves! We provide a healthy snack option and all the necessary materials. 

    Q. How many kids are in the program? 
    A. To ensure a quality learning environment, group size is limited to 22 in each session.

    Q. This is like volunteering, right? 
    A. Not quite. Our volunteer opportunities for youth start at age 14 with our teen volunteer program. Kids Club is an education program and kids will have lots of fun while learning about HSSW, but it's not volunteering.

  • Humane Academy | Grades 7-8

    Guided by our staff, students engage in a number of hands-on experiences in Humane Academy. Not only will they learn what we do at HSSW, they'll learn how we do it! It's a great opportunity for kids interested in becoming teen volunteers to learn more about the world of HSSW.

    Program Information

    Grade 7/8 - FULL. Thank you!
    Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Dates: 9/25, 10/16, 11/20, 12/18
    Fee: $100

Summer Education Programs

Discover Camp is your child’s ticket to a fun-filled week with games and crafts, guest speakers, and plenty of time with the dogs and cats! Campers learn all about HSSW, responsible pet ownership, and discover ways that they can help animals in our community. This fun and educational experience is perfect for the young animal-lover in your family.

  • 2020 Discover Camp | Grades 3-6

    Time: Noon-5:00 pm, daily
    Dates: Check back Spring, 2020 for upcoming sessions!
    Registration: Closed for 2019 sessions.


    Q. What will my kids do at Discover Camp? 
    A. Camp is all about animals so we'll spend lots of time with them. An average camp day includes time with our shelter pets, education lessons, crafts, games, and guest speakers!

    Q. How old does a camper have to be to register? 
    A. Camp is available for children entering grades 3-6 in the fall of the coming school year. 

    Q. What are the camp hours?
    A. Camp sessions run Noon-5:00, Monday-Friday

    Q. When do I pick up and drop off? 
    A. We request that campers are dropped off no earlier than 10 minutes before camp and are picked up no later than ten minutes after. We do not provide pre or post-camp care so it's very important to be on time.

    Q. What is an average day at Camp like? 
    A. Great question! Every day at camp is different, but it always includes time with animals, crafts, games, guest speakers, and more! 

    Q. Do you offer scholarships for low-income families? 
    A. Yes! Limited scholarships are available for students in households with financial need. Examples may include families reliant on WIC, food stamps, Section 8, free or reduced-price school lunch, Medicaid, etc. Scholarships are limited in availability and cannot be guaranteed. Scholarship approval provides a 50% reduction in Camp fees. 

    Q. Where is Camp located? 
    A. Most camp sessions are at our adoption center-shelter at 1100 NE 192nd Ave. Camp may also include a field trip, details for pick up and drop off for field trip days will be provided prior to camp. 

    Q. Can I register my child in several weeks of camp? 
    A. Curriculum for camp is repeated throughout the summer so we don't encourage families to enroll in multiple weeks. This also makes sure we have room for as many kids as possible. 

    Q. Does my child have to be there each day? 
    A. We're pretty sure your child will be sad if they're not! Missing a day means your child misses out on camp fun, but if you can't be there just let our staff know. 

    Q. Do the kids get to spend time with real animals? 
    A. Of course! Many of our lessons involve interactions with animals. When possible, we also have a dog or cat (or special guest animals) join us in the classroom.  

    Q. What should my child wear? 
    A. Kids should dress in clothes that are comfortable (and ones that can handle a little dog slobber or cat hair). It's important to wear closed-toe shoes and long pants every day. We spend time outside so kids should also have a hat with them.

    Q. What is your cancellation policy?
    A. We hope nobody has to cancel, but we ask to be notified of cancellations no less than 2 weeks prior to the start of camp so we can have time to recruit new campers. Camp payments will be refunded less a $50 administrative fee. 

    Q. What should my child bring? 
    A. Each child should bring a snack to camp. Refrigeration is available. We discourage bringing anything that requires a microwave. Children should also bring a reusable water bottle.

Education Scholarships

We think HSSW education is important for kids. Sometimes, finances can be a barrier to participation. We offer a limited number of reduced-fee registrations to children in homes with financial barriers to participation.

  • Learn more about youth scholarships

    Space is limited. Families must be recipients of financial support programs including, but not limited to: WIC, food stamps, Section 8, free or reduced-price school lunch, Medicaid, etc. Approved families will receive a 50% reduction in camp fees.

    To Apply:

    Complete the fields below and a member of our education team will follow up with more information. 

Classroom Programs

Classroom programs bring the fun and excitement of the Humane Society to you! Programs are conducted in school classrooms, community centers, or other assembly spaces and typically last 15-20 minutes. Scheduling is dependent on staff availability and may vary seasonally. Programs are offered free of charge, donations are greatly appreciated. 

Currently unavailable. Please check back. 

  • Pre-K - 4th Grade Programs

    Lil’ Tails (pre-k or ages 3-5)
    Safety around dogs and cats starts early. Lil’ Tails teaches our youngest audience the basics of responsible pet ownership and safe behavior around dogs and cats. This program utilizes a stuffed dog to help demonstrate how to safely interact with a dog and coloring sheets to help illustrate the importance of responsible pet ownership.

    Dog Gone Safe! (grades k-4)
    Meeting a new dog can be a lot of fun, but is it always safe? Dog Gone Safe introduces kids to the safe and responsible way to greet dogs. The program reviews basic steps to greeting a dog and discusses how dog body language can tell us what a dog is feeling. 

    What a Pet Needs (grades k-4)
    Pets are more than just a fun pal for playtime, they're a lot of work! Keeping your pet healthy and safe is a big job. Our presenter covers the basic needs of a pet and engages kids in understanding pet needs by thinking about their own needs. Program also includes time with a classroom dog to demonstrate the importance of good training.

Questions? Please contact: 

Education Team
[email protected]